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Newly constructed vehicles should be made with laminated glass windows, which are designed with a piece of plastic between two layers of glass. Tempered glass is not laminated and is cheaper. Tempered glass can shatter in an accident and can be dangerous in a car crash or accident.
Older homes and older cars may still have tempered glass installed, which is much less safe than laminated glass. Some cars will have a mix of tempered and laminated glass on different parts of the vehicle. Tempered glass injuries can be severe but an experienced tempered glass injury lawyer may be able to help.
If you or a loved one has been injured by tempered glass, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation. With offices for our firm located nationwide, we are able to find a personal injury lawyer near you.
what is tempered glass?
Tempered glass is four times stronger than "ordinary" glass. When tempered glass fractures, it breaks into many small pieces. Non-tempered glass breaks into large, uneven shards when it fractures and can be very dangerous.
Car manufacturers generally use laminated glass windows in vehicles because it is safer; laminated glass is made with a piece of plastic in between two layers of glass. Laminated glass windows will still shatter in a crash, but the pieces are meant to stay all together, attached by the plastic, and provide a barrier to keep car occupants inside. Most vehicles have front windshields made with laminated glass so that in the event of a car crash, car occupants are not thrown from their vehicles and do not sustain further injuries.
Tempered glass is used inside many homes, as well, such as on shower or tub doors, furniture, microwave ovens, and skylights. Tempered glass is safer to use in environments where human safety is an issue. Because the glass breaks into smaller pieces, there is less risk of injury from broken glass.
how is tempered glass dangerous?
Non-laminated tempered glass is cheaper to use; therefore, some cars will use tempered glass on the side windows and sunroofs and only use laminated glass on the front and rear windshields. When larger cars such as SUVs are in a crash, they may roll over and passengers are more likely to be ejected or have their limbs or heads come out of a tempered glass window. In a collision, if the glass breaks away, it can no longer protect the occupants inside and hold them inside the car.
Tempered glass has a higher risk of causing severe lacerations or death to vehicle occupants than laminated safety glass. Glass pieces, even if they are small and dull, can still cause damage to the eyes and skin in a car accident. Car and home manufacturers may be liable to you for damages if they negligently allowed the improper use of glass.
types of tempered glass injuries
We are surrounded by glass in our homes and in our cars. A tempered glass injury can occur from a car accident or can happen if a person runs into a sliding glass door or slips on a wet floor and hits a shower door. When buying glass furniture, a home, or a car, you might assume that the product is reasonably safe from causing glass injuries; unfortunately, if a manufacturer was negligent or irresponsible, you may be injured, but you may also be able to recover from them for any tempered glass injuries you suffer.
Car Glass Injuries
As was mentioned before, tempered glass can contribute to serious injury in a car accident because of the inability to keep the car occupant inside the car; passenger ejection is the biggest risk when tempered glass is used in cars. Front windshields should be laminated, but some cars will use tempered glass on the side windows. In an accident, the glass will shatter completely, leaving the passengers inside exposed and at risk for further injury.
Other vehicles such as school buses should be made with all laminated windows for safety. Some cars may have at least one tempered window that is designed to be broken for escape and rescue purposes. Car emergency kits often include a glass breaker for this purpose as well.
Residential Glass Injuries
Some older homes still have tempered glass within them, whether it is in windows or in old shower doors. A property owner may still be held liable if an injury occurs due to a tempered glass injury. If a home or product within the home is not up to modern safety standards and a person gets injured, the manufacturer of the glass or property owner may be liable.
Most new furniture may be made with tempered glass, for tempered glass is required to be used for glass surfaces such as desks and tables. This is to minimize serious injuries such as lacerations and puncture injuries. Fatalities are less likely to occur if the glass is tempered.
Tempered glass laws
The International Residential Code (IRC) sets building standards that specifies when tempered glass should be used in order to prevent injury or death. According to the IRC, all glass panels within a home that are fixed, sliding, swinging, or operable, should have tempered glass or laminated glass installed. Any glass that is within 24 inches of a doorway must also be made of tempered glass, and all glass within a bathroom should be made of tempered glass as well as any glass furniture that has a horizontal top.
There is a federal mandate for the safety standard of glass. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), from 2012 to 2016, there were about 2,300 emergency room visits associated with shattering glass shower doors. In 2016, there was an estimated 20,700 emergency room visits for injuries associated with glass table injuries.
Tempered glass is designed to fail in a safe way that reduces harm, but serious injuries are still possible. Surprisingly, tempered glass can break spontaneously if there are any scratches or defects. Installation errors and other factors may also cause the surface of the glass to be put under pressure that eventually causes it to break.
All glass that is for sale or personal use that is within a residence, school, or public building should have tempered glass. The argument that older buildings with non-tempered glass are “grandfathered in” and will not have to replace the glass to safer glass will not be a viable argument for a property owner. A property owner has a responsibility to keep people safe from harm, so if you were injured due to their negligence, they will be legally liable for your injuries.
who is liable for a tempered glass injury?
Identifying the party responsible for your injuries may difficult; if you were injured in an auto accident and the tempered glass contributed to your injuries, the car manufacturer, the glass manufacturer, or both, may be liable. Car manufacturers generally choose the type of glass that is used it their vehicles, so they may make the decision to use cheaper tempered glass rather than laminated glass at the expense of your safety. High quality glass costs more, but when a car manufacturer chooses to put the consumer’s safety at risk, they should be held accountable.
Anyone who installs glass products in your home has a responsibility to do so safely. The employees who install the glass or the company that hired them may be liable to you if their glass products break spontaneously and cause injury. Consumers should report any safety-related incidents involving glass to the CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov to ensure that no one else is injured.
why hire a tempered glass injury attorney?
Seeking an experienced tempered glass injury attorney will be beneficial to your case because your attorney can speak with experts in the field and help seek the maximum recovery possible for your case. Your personal injury attorney will also be able to assist with speaking to any insurance claims adjusters who may want to settle. You should never feel pressured to accept a settlement offer from an insurance agency; settlement offers, especially the first offer, are typically much lower than what you could recover for your injuries.
Dealing with other parties may also become overwhelming when you are already dealing with your tempered glass injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help navigate the legal process for you and speak to other parties on your behalf. Do not allow car manufacturers or property owners to get away with negligent behavior that have caused you harm; our personal injury lawyers have access to medical consultants, investigators, and experts who can all help uncover the reasons behind your injuries and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Get Help from tempered glass injury lawyers
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury lawyers are experienced and have handled many cases involving victims of tempered glass accidents. We have tempered glass injury attorneys ready to assist you. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you determine what to do next and to help recover the best possible outcome for your case.
Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys and to locate a personal injury attorney near you. You will pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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